Gold climbs near 2-month high; silver surges

Gold settles at its highest price in nearly 2 months as political turmoil spurs demand

Associated Press

Gold settled at its highest price in almost two months on Friday as turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere boosts demand for the precious metal.

Gold for December delivery rose $10.10, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $1,371.00 an ounce. That's its highest daily settlement price since June 19, according to the data provider FactSet.

Silver for September delivery climbed 38.7 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $23.322 an ounce.

Gold and silver prices surged this week. Analysts said it was mainly driven by demand for the actual metals, instead of speculation on futures contracts.

"We've had a pretty good bounce in gold," said George Gero, a senior vice president at RBC Global Futures in New York. "A lot of that has to do with what's going on in the Middle East."

In Egypt, security forces killed hundreds of protesters in Cairo, and violence spread to other parts of the country. People across the Middle East are worried that the unrest could weaken their currencies, Gero said. Many have shifted money into gold for safekeeping.

Other metals were mixed in Friday trading. Platinum for October delivery fell $4.70 to $1,527.60 an ounce. Palladium for September rose $6.20, or 0.8 percent, to $763.05 an ounce.

The September contract for copper edged up 2.55 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $3.363 a pound.

In the market for grains and crops, prices for corn, soybeans and wheat dropped slightly.

Corn slipped 8.75 cents to $4.635 a bushel, while soybeans slipped 6.25 cents to $12.592. Wheat lost 6 cents to $6.435.

But most crop prices remained higher for the week following reports that farmers are leaving more land fallow. Forecasts for dry weather also pushed up prices.

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